Hi, friends! How are ya? Truth be told: I feel like a black (or maybe grey) cloud was hanging over me during the first couple weeks of 2020, and it’s finally clear skies over here. Yay! Although today is actually bittersweet, because my mom flew out this morning, after having to extend her trip once she got sick (which happened after I got sick). We loved having her here with us, in spite of all the illness between us both, and I’m always a little down after she leaves (Brady too, because he’s obsessed with his “Gammie”).
The good news is that I was back to teaching all of my regular classes this week, had my first work session of the year at a coffee shop while Brady was at preschool, and I even fit in a SoulCycle date with my sweet friend, Kicki, and a couple lunches out with my mom and Brady. This weekend, we have nothing at all going on, and I’m pretty happy about that. Let’s get to the favorites of the day …
Review of Les Mills BODYATTACK 107 release
Last week, I gave you my thoughts on the latest BODYPUMP 112 release, so it’s only fair that I share my thoughts on the latest BODYATTACK 107 release this week. Due to the holidays and timing, I only taught BODYATTACK 107 three times, and I’ll be changing it out next week to keep it fresh for my members, but I still have a lot to say about this particular release.
And if you haven’t tried BODYATTACK yet, it’s a fun sports-inspired athletic cardio class, with no equipment. It’s usually 55 minutes long, but I teach the 45-minute express version, and we do a lot of running, jumping, burpees and smiling. By the way: You can do BODYATTACK at home any time using Les Mills On Demand too (grab your free 21-day trial using my special referral link here).
Let’s do a track-by-track breakdown of BODYATTACK 107 …
- Warm-up. This is a short warm-up, perhaps our shortest ever, but it gets the job done. I love the song (slower version here), and we start out with a new reach up, squat down to forward fold/hamstring stretch combination, which is done twice at the very start of the track. And I know we’ll see this particular combination again, and I like it — the hamstrings always need a good stretch. The rest of the warm-up has running, bouncing, a double bounce (which is different than double bounces of the past and is more like a pony), step touches, squats, tricep push-ups and a hip opener in plank position, and I love the hip opener. A perfect warm-up, although maybe about 1 minute too short. Major thumbs up.
- Mixed impact. The workout gets going with a fun mixed impact track that includes a lot of step curls, some step knees, running, squat pulsing, swinging back and even some squat jumps out and in. There are no gallops in this track, and that’s fine by me. I don’t dislike the gallop, I just like to see things switching up for mixed impact, because galloping can get boring when we do it every release. I’m a big fan of the run forward/swing back combination, because it’s unique and it sits in the perfect BODYATTACK spirit. This track has quite a bit of squat pulse jumps, so it’s actually hard-ish. The second and third sets repeat the same moves, which is helpful in BODYATTACK, so participants can perfect their technique. The song is fun too (slower version here), with the “what is it” lyrics. Thumbs up.
- Plyometrics. This is five-set track, which is huge. I happen to LOVE this plyometrics track so much. It’s super hard, but not so hard that it’s not manageable. We get right to work with double pulse lunges and then single plyometric lunges, and there’s a totally new move to this track — the single plyometric lunge with a double arm pulldown, which is crazy tough, but fun, because we’ve never taken our arms overhead during the single plyo lunges before. There are also a lot of burpees and high-knee runs in place. I love that the first four sets are pretty repetitive, and then the final set combines the two combinations from earlier in the track, so it’s easy to catch on. The last set includes a tuck between the double pulse lunge jumps, and that’s the perfect challenge. I truly love this plyo track, and I can’t always say that. And it’s important to mention that there are great options for all of the moves, so someone doesn’t have to jump at all. The song has a great beat and works well with the moves (slower version here). Major thumbs up.
- Athletic conditioning. This track comes at us in two sets, and it’s quite hard. There are walk-out to plank shoulder taps, chest push-ups and super-quick tricep push-ups, and the leg portion of this track is so much harder than it looks, with some single-leg squat with heel presses forward and backward. I happen to love the focus on single-leg balance in the lower-body portion like we have in this track with the squatting and leg kicks, and I’ve noticed everyone struggling in the best way to stay stable and complete the moves. I have to admit that I think the tricep push-ups are a little too fast, which is often the case in BODYATTACK. I’d like to see them slowed down a bit, because the incredibly quick tempo often makes people cheat their form, even when you give them the option to pull back a bit. Unfortunately, the song is boring, and it was used in BODYPUMP too during this set of releases, which isn’t something I like, so this track gets a thumbs neutral.
- Agility. Sometimes agility tracks can be all over the place, but this one is nicely organized, and I’m a big fan of that. We do ladder runs moving forward, down jacks moving forward (which is the bottom part of a jumping jack and technically a newer move), and up jacks moving forward (which are really hard). Then we put it all together in the last set. This track has just the right amount of difficulty, and I love the song too. Major thumbs up.
- Intervals. YESSSSSSSSSS! The best new change to the intervals track comes at us in this release, and that’s because we do the entire track facing each other in a big circle (just like the running track). I’m obsessed with this layout and hope we continue to do it (which I think we will in the next release too). It’s so fun to see everyone smiling and moving together. The moves in this three-set track are simple, with a lot of bouncing, running, kicking and knee pulls. There are also some party arms, which are a welcome addition if you ask me. The biggest thumbs up for this intervals track! Great song too (here’s a slightly slower version).
- Power. This power track follows the usual three-set format, and it gets progressively harder as we take the jumping jack/high-knee runs and add some burpees and burpee tucks too. There are a couple new variations with the quick ski jump with jumping-rope arms, as well as the skater with a rope pullback (love that one). We also do the in/out heel-to-butt tuck jump, which is so much harder than it looks. I find the transition there a bit awkward between the running and heel tuck jumps, but overall, I really like this track. It’s incredibly tough, but the music and moves drive us through, so no complaints here. Thumbs up.
*No comments on the aerobic, running or core tracks, because I don’t teach those in the 45-minute express version. Well, I usually do teach a little bit of the core track, but we can’t fit in the whole thing, or we wouldn’t have a chance to stretch. And don’t tell on me, but technically I’m supposed to complete the full core track and then instruct everyone to stretch on their own after class (the next class is at the window ready to come in by this time). But I’ve noticed that the members do not stretch on their own, and I just don’t feel right sending them off without at least a couple minutes of something official to end the workout in a safe way, so I cut core short. And I stand by that decision, even if it goes against the rules just a little.
Overall, BODYATTACK release 107 is perhaps one of my favorites to date, and it’s got just the right amount of difficulty and fun too. Well done Lisa Osborne and the Les Mills team. This is why people just keep coming back for more. 🙂
“Cheer” on Netflix
Literally, this one is a FAVORITE! Last week, I was scrolling through Facebook mindlessly and noticed an article about a new show on Netflix called “Cheer.” I thought hmmm … that sounds interesting, and I screenshot the article. Then, when Brady was down for his nap, I figured I’d open up Netflix just to watch the preview. And of course, it was the first preview on the screen ready and waiting for me. Something told me just to press play, so I did. And then I watched three full episodes back to back, completely ignoring my to-do list for the day that needed to be accomplished while he napped.
(Image from Netflix.)
Then, after Brady went to sleep that night, I watched two more episodes, then I finished the finale the very next day (it’s only six episodes). And this is something I NEVER do. Although I usually watch maybe one show a day, I never binge watch like this. I was SO pulled in to this one, it was burning a hole in my pocket, and I had to finish.
“Cheer” is about a competitive junior college cheer team in small-town Texas — called Navarro College. And although most of us haven’t heard of the school, they have the best cheerleading squad in the nation. The best part is that the show is a documentary, so we get interviews with the cheerleaders and coach, and they all have interesting backstories, in addition to incredible athletic abilities that we see throughout every episode when they practice their routine for the annual national competition in Daytona.
Now, I’m not going to go as far as to say that I like this show more than my beloved “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team” series, but “Cheer” is more raw and more real. I sure hope they do another season, because I’m here for it. I won’t spoil it for you, but I will say you should watch it soon. Also, I will tell you that there are tons of hilarious articles about the show that you can read by Googling the show name once you’ve watched it. Clearly, I’m not the only one who got hooked.
New chocolate cherry almond collagen latte
Chocolate cherry almond is a brand new limited-edition flavor of the popular collagen lattes from Vital Proteins, and it is beyond delicious — perhaps my favorite of the flavors ever.
Here’s how I use it: I add just one scoop of this to my morning tea, along with some honey, stevia and frothed Ripple milk, and boy is it a good concoction, full of protein, collagen and taste. I definitely recommend this flavor, especially if you’re new to collagen and want something yummy to add to your morning tea or coffee.
Weekly workout recap
Here’s my latest week of workouts …
- Monday: 1-hour BODYPUMP, 10 a.m.
- Tuesday: Rest day
- Wednesday: Rest day
- Thursday: Rest day
- Friday: Rest day
- Saturday: 30 minutes of BODYATTACK, 9:30 a.m.
- Sunday: 1 hour of POP Pilates, 10:30 a.m.
This past week was light, and that’s because I was still sick, even after thinking I had gotten better for about half a day (note the random BODYPUMP on Monday). I had to sub out all four of my classes and didn’t even go for any walks or anything, because I really needed to rest. That was no fun. When it was time to get back to working out, I wanted to go full force, but I decided it was smarter to just to do half a class on Saturday and then practice POP Pilates on Sunday to ease back in. I missed exercise though.
Not a lot of people pictures in this post, so here’s one from a walk around the Lafayette Reservoir before I got sick …
A few things from around the web …
- Clean your mattress. Well, this is something I haven’t been doing, but apparently we should be cleaning our mattresses with a vacuum. Here’s how and when to do it.
- Squat warm-up. This is an excellent move to try at home or at the gym to work on your squat depth. I’m going to give it a go this weekend.
And here’s the quote of the week from the Calm app, which I use to do my daily morning meditations. Not only do I like my meditating routine, but I also love to get a little quote tile when I’m done …
A Lady Goes West favorite archives …
- Fun wellness stuff. Because it feels good to put this out into the universe with hopes I make it all happen one day … “My wellness bucket list.”
- Perspective on healthy living. Depending on your season of life, your wellness routine can change, and that’s okay … “What I’ve learned about wellness since becoming a mom.”
Have a great weekend, my friends! I’ll see you back here on Monday for something different!
Questions of the day
How was your week?
What’s an awesome show or book that you’ve discovered lately?
Have you tried the latest BODYATTACK 107 release?